scott's picture

Still no idea on I.D.

Observed: 9th March 2011 By: scottscott’s reputation in Birdsscott’s reputation in Birdsscott’s reputation in Birds

it's 7cm long. I have looked into sparrowhawk,peregrine,curlew,whimbrel but it doesn't seem to be from any of them. many think it is from a female pheasant but I'm not so sure as I haven't seen the feather on a pheasant in any pictures. I have looked into woodcock and it seems it might be but still I haven't had any concrete evidence. any suggestions would be appreciated

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nightfly's picture

Hi Scott, Its a tricky one,

Hi Scott,

Its a tricky one, where was it found? It doesnt remind me of hen pheasant, I dont think its from one but I could be wrong.

The brown quill is an intetesting feature, not many feathers have such a richly coloured quill. Location might help a bit?

It would remind me a little of plumage of a hen golden pheasant which is quite different from the common pheasant, but its a long time since I had hen golden pheasant feathers to hand.


David Jardine's picture


I've looked at the Pheasant gallery and if you look at the first photo on

you can just see a feather on the bottom part of the wing - just to the left of the leg that has this colouration.

Hope this helps


scott's picture

your right that it has the

your right that it has the same kind of colouration David but it seems a bit big, my feather is only 7cm. to answer your question nightfly it was found on the coast at Gibraltar point national nature reserve in Skegness it was in some grass at the side of a path, I can't help much more because I'm only 14 and I don't have a great knowledge of the variety of bird species there, however I know there are black tailed Godwits and some sandpipers I hope this helps the investigation thanks again Scott.

David Jardine's picture

Pheasant feather

Hi Scott

I'm now pretty certain it is a pheasant feather - I've found a photo of a female wing out-stretched:

Your feather is one of the feathers on the upper part of the wing on the middle right - it is a primary covert - the little kink I described in my post above is indicative of this type of feather - most of them have them.

We shouldn't be surprised is it is a Pheasant feather as pheasants are one of the most common birds in Britain given the number which are released for sport. It is not the long primary feather, but the one immediately above it

Its great you have an enquiring mind - stick in there - the more you ask, the more you will learn.

All the best


nightfly's picture

It could very well be that

It could very well be that stout covert feather at the base of the primaries David- I see a brown quill also on the right feather on the birds wing you have shared. Looks very like it.

I was starting to think it might be from a female eider duck but Im not familiar with eider duck feathers, it just had a duck quill look about it, shape wise.

I think you have it.


scott's picture

could it be a woodcock wing feather

I've found a website with a mounted woodcock, there are 1 or 2 feathers which look similar to mine. on the website there are a few pictures of the mounted woodcock don't click on them, just scroll the mouse over the end picture and then scroll over the bigger version of it,(its the picture with only a part of the bird showing), a much higher zoom of the picture will come up at the side. Here's the link. highlight it and right click the option to go to... will come up. hope this helps, Scott.

scott's picture

thank you both so much, you

thank you both so much, you have been so helpful. I will be putting some more feathers which I think are even more challenging which I found last week. can you crack the case? thanks again Scott.